2012 NHL Draft Scouting Report: Adam Pelech
Adam Pelech has had an interesting past few years. When I originally saw him playing his minor midget year with the Toronto Marlboros, he was a player that displayed some strong NHL level potential, but was more of a raw prospect. In his first year in Erie, he displayed some strong growth in his first year in the Ontario Hockey League. He took that year and had a strong Ivan Hlinka tournament, and was quickly being viewed as a potential top 20 selection for this years NHL Draft. This season things did not go as smoothly for Pelech, as he struggled with a wrist injury that took away half of his season right off the bat. When he returned, the Otters struggled with defensive depth, and Pelech was put in a position to be more of an offensive defenceman for the Otters, a role that really does not suit his skill set. He tried to do to much at times, which really effected his development and created some questions among the scouting community. I did not see him play live, reports are that he rebounded to have a pretty solid world under 18 championships, which should help his draft stock.
When his game is on, Pelech as a lot of attributes that make you envision a really smart defensive defenceman. He is very effective positionally in all three zones, and displays the intelligence to be in the right place at the right time. He is smart and shows good hockey sense, anticipates the play well and knows how to quickly read a play and assess the best coarse of action. He is effective at controlling his gaps, taking space away from opposition forwards. He has a good, active stick that is effective at knocking down passes and taking passing lanes away from opposition forwards. He is effective at using his wingspan to angle opposition forwards away from high percentage scoring areas and angling them into the boards. He is good down low and along the boards, battling for loose pucks. He may not always win the battles, but always brings a high compete level. He is strong at pinning forwards against the boards, taking them out of the play.
Pelech has some room to grow in some very specific elements of his game. First and foremost, he needs to focus on his assets and play to them. To many times this season Pelech has tried to be something that he is not, and struggled to do so. He would try to skate the puck up the ice and generate offense, which is playing against his skill set. That may be trying to do to much given the team that he was on, but he needs to simplify his game. He struggles with his vision at times with the puck, and does not show a high offensive upside, or alot of offensive growth. He also has some room to grow with his mobility and acceleration. He can struggle with his first few steps, and needs to work on his acceleration and overall footwork. He can struggle at times with his transitional footwork, and needs to be better while going from offensive to defense.
Individual skill Rankings (out of 10)
Skill : 7
Hockey Sense: 7.5
Positional Play: 8
Pelech is projected to be a top 4 defenceman at the next level. He may not have a high offensive ceiling, however I do like this positional play as well as his strength. He has the ability to be a strong, physical defenceman who shows good positional play.
Pelech is rated as a second round selection for the 2012 NHL draft, and should be selected in the 40th to 55th overall area.